Sunday, 19 February 2017

February - Week 3

The biggest event at Number 38 this week was Amy's birthday yesterday. I can't believe her sweet 16th year has been and gone already and she's now seventeen. Like any Mum I can recall every detail of her arrival as though it were only yesterday. She might have been a tiddler at only 5lb 6ozs but she certainly made a big impact on our lives right from the word go. 
I was going to make her birthday cake like I usually do but this year she requested a caterpillar one from the supermarket. You can buy these at any store but depending on where you go their names are different. This one is Wiggles and comes from Sainsburys. Curly the Caterpillar belongs to Tesco, Clyde lives at Asda and Morrisons have a Cheeky Caterpillar cake. We ate the cake for breakfast while she opened her presents and cards. She didn't get many gifts but the money rolled in, the lucky girl. 
In the evening my Mum came down with my niece and her partner who were visiting from Cirencester and we had a Chinese. We've not had a take-away for ages so it was a nice treat. I am a creature of habit where take-aways are concerned. Sweet and Sour Chicken from the Chinese and Chicken Tikka from the Indian. I have never deviated from these choices and don't expect I ever will. After we'd eaten Amy took herself to her room to do what teenagers do best - be on their own, doing their own thing, while we sat talking.

Sophie had a training day at work on Wednesday so we looked after Sienna. We had a trip to Bury and then she spent the afternoon playing with Granny's ribbons which kept her entertained for ages. I'm going to get a tub and put lots of different things in it for her to play with.
She's eating proper food now as well. There are no dainty crustless sandwiches for this little lady but there were cucumber slices on the side. Mark can't watch her eat food like this. He's convinced she's going to choke and it panics him so he has to go and stand in the kitchen. It's amazing how much she can actually eat by sucking food to death. 
Both me and Thomas had physio appointments this week. I was in and out within 5 minutes. All I had to do was show him how far I could bend, which wasn't very far but better than a few weeks ago. I just have to carry on with the exercises and go back in a month. Thomas' appointment was much more fun. He got to juggle again and play a game. It's been decided that he'll go back for a check up every 6 months for the next 3 or 4 years so they can keep an eye on him while he's growing, just to make sure his leg is keeping up.

We don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day at Number 38 so when a beautiful bouquet of flowers were delivered on the day (including lilies!) it was certainly a lovely surprise, especially as the night before Mark had clarified the situation by asking "we're not doing Valentine's are we?" to which I'd replied "No". Ever since Amy was born whenever he sends me a bouquet there is always one rose included. 
I've finished this little set for a preemie charity. There's the blanket I started last week, 2 bonding squares, a hat and a cardigan. 
And also an octopus which might seem a strange toy but they've been requested because the tentacles remind babies of umbilical cords. It's funny though because you're not allowed to knit or crochet anything with holes in just in case tiny fingers and toes get caught, but 8 tentacles in an incubator are obviously acceptable. I suppose as long as baby doesn't move too much it's fine but I wouldn't put one in with a wriggler. 
We had a late night last night and I didn't get out of bed til 11am today! After a breakfast of poached eggs and bacon provided by the  man of the house I finally got the sewing machine down to finish the lilac quilt. I've really struggled with the circle on this, the sewing machine went too fast and my hand sewing wasn't neat enough so I decided to try the machine again but this time I turned the wheel thingy by hand. Although it made my wrist ache it worked really well. I won't make a quilt like this again though!
It's half term this week and I'm hoping the weather will be kind so we can get out for a couple of days. It's hard to get Thomas out of the house so I think any trips will be local. He'll moan about having to get dressed and take part but I always feel better on his behalf when he's had some fresh air! I'm determined he's not spending all week exercising his thumbs. 
I finished reading Cast Off Kids so there are now 2 books on my Book Page. Reading about how things have changed in the care system since the 60's, some for the better, some for the worse, was really interesting. Next up is Fifteen Lives of Harry August and then one Amy has recommended called A Quiet Kind of Thunder. I won't need to buy any books for a while now because Amy has a shelf full that I've not read. Her reading genre is very different to mine but she chooses some really good ones and her bedroom is like my own personal library. 
It's been a long time since I cooked a Sunday lunch, I tend to do a roast one night in the week these days which seems easier. Instead I've started to lay the table every Sunday for tea. The tablecloth gets put on and then I put out sandwiches, cakes, nibbles and a pot of tea and we have a help yourself session. This week my dessert choice was lemon cheesecake with kiwi fruit. 
And that's about it. I'm looking forward to not having to get up early for the next 7 days although I don't think I'll be  rising at 11am again even though I think late to bed and late to rise is my natural sleeping pattern.

I'm not going to start any new projects with Amy and Thomas being off but I'm aiming to finish off the knitted sleeping bag this week. 

Tomorrow evening me and Amy are going to the cinema to see La La Land which we're looking forward to. I also fancy watching Lion and I Daniel  Blake but will probably wait for them to come out on Virgin.

My friend is coming for lunch on Wednesday with her 6 year old and if the weather is nice a trip to the park to feed the ducks is planned.

I wish we were out in the van for a couple of days but we both agreed it was probably a bit too cold at the moment and Amy and Thomas just wanted to stay home for their holiday as well which is fine. 

If you've already had your half term I hope it was a good one. If it's just started like ours, then I hope you enjoy it. And if half term doesn't apply to you then I hope your week is full of whatever you want it to be. 



  1. Sounds like you have had a lovely week. Happy birthday Amy-cake looked delicious. Your crochet set is really beautiful and will be a lovely gift to a mum and her tiny baby. I know how you feel about lack of caravan time but it's too cold yet up here for being away. Enjoy your week with the family-prizing Thomas away from his screen may be a challenge! Catriona

    1. It has been another good week Catriona although they're going a little too quickly again for my liking but what can you do.

      I would have really loved to been in the van this week, if it were just me and Mark we'd have been off like a shot but I understand Amy and Thomas wanting to stay home, especially when it's too cold to be out and about for long.

      I've just suggested to Thomas we go to the park this afternoon. His reply was "maybe tomorrow". This is a bog standard response and he'd still be saying this on Sunday if I let him without having been out all week. It's lovely here today though so I'm putting my foot down and bracing myself for a lot of moaning.

      Hope you have a lovely week. xx

  2. Happy birthday to Amy! Please tell her that I wish her all the best! Love the caterpillar cake! I don't think I've seen similar cakes here, but then, I haven't been looking. Is it like a Swiss roll? Cake for breakfast sounds like a fun way to celebrate a birthday!

    I tend to be the same as you and stick to the same things when I get take-out or go to a restaurant! Teriyaki beef at the Japanese restaurant, for example. My daughter laughs at me and urges me to try something different, but I know what I like and don't want to spend money to try something I might not enjoy eating!

    Aw, look at Sienna sorting out the ribbons for you! So cute! The little preemie set you made is lovely. I hadn't heard of bonding squares, so had to look it up! I'd never have guessed about the octopus!

    Your flowers look lovely and how sweet about the rose. :)

    Your Dresden plate quilt looks good. Sewing the circles down is hard. I clip the edges, fold them in, tack/baste them before basting them to the top and hand sew them in place.

    Your Sunday teas sound delicious! Lemon cheesecake is a favorite of mine! Good thing I don't live closer to you; otherwise you might find yourself with an extra guest at tea time! :D

    Hope you have a fun week ahead with the kids being home and you being able to sleep in a bit, maybe. Take care.

    1. I've passed on your birthday wishes Bless, and Amy says thank you. She loves all my bloggy friends wishing her Happy Birthday. The cake is just a decorated chocolate swiss roll. I'm not keen on shop bought cake and this one wasn't any different than the rest but Amy and Thomas enjoyed it which is the main thing.

      The problem I have with take-aways and eating out is that I'm not a great meat lover and anything I order I need to be able to see what it is, so no sauce or dressings etc. I'm quite happy with my choices though, at least it means I can join in when we do have a treat.

      I'd never heard of bonding squares either or the octopus thing so we've both learnt something new :)

      I'm really pleased with how the quilt has turned out but I wouldn't do anything that required a circle again. I thought my hand sewing was OK but it just looked too messy for this project. Turning the wheel was a perfect solution but hard going.

      I love anything lemony apart from lemon truffles. It's such a refreshing flavour after a meal.

      I didn't get up quite as late this morning but I could still do with it being a bit earlier. Never mind, I get my hours in at the end of the day. I wasn't in bed until midnight again last night.

      Thanks for dropping by. It's always lovely to hear from you. Hope you have a lovely week. xx

  3. Lovely to hear all your news, have a good half term

    1. Thank you Sue. It's just the usual stuff really but I'm glad I record it. We've had a couple of "when was that" moments this week regarding certain things and I've been able to relate them to what I was doing at the time, so looking them up on the blog gave us some dates.

      So glad for you that things are finally moving on the house front. Hope your potatoes are chitting along nicely :) xx

  4. I hope Amy had a fabulous birthday. Ooh, 17, feels like a lifetime ago. Chinese was a good choice!

    Sienna is too cute, kids do love to rootle about with ribbons and stuff. Mind you, so do I so I can't talk!

    You've been a busy bee with all your crafty business. I love that octopus so much, it's too cute for words.

    Lovely flowers. What a sweetie Mark is with the rose!

    Been trying to get into email today to reply to you, but Orange/EE are playing up yet again. Can't get into it at all, just says they have a problem. This happens on a regular basis, but I shall persevere!

    Enjoy your week off. Happy Half Term to you! xx

    1. She had a lovely day thanks Sadie. I think she was tired of all the socialising with family at the end of it though. She's quite happy with her own company and finds making small talk tiring or more likely boring haha. Not like me, I could waffle on about nothing for hours.

      Sienna spent ages playing with the ribbons and she also loves the remote control. In fact she buggered the TV up while she was here and after a load of faffing around we had to unplug everything and re-boot. It's so true that they prefer 'real' things to play with.

      The rose appears without fail in every bunch of flowers I get and I've still got the one from the bouquet when Amy was born.

      This technical stuff is great until it doesn't work. I always say I'd manage without it until I can't do something and then I don't half strop :)

      Think I'm going to take Amy out for a go in the car today! And then persuade Thomas to get dressed so we can go to the park. It's lovely here and I don't want to waste the weather.

      Hope you have a lovely week. Speak soon. xx

  5. Happy Birthday Amy, love the cake! We don't have 'L' plates over here but I think they are a great idea. Your knitting is beautiful, as usual, love the octopus. I hope you manage to pry Thomas from his electonics and get a few days out. Kids here got a 5 day weekend. Two days for teachers convention, the weekend and family day tomorrow. We got a little skiff of snow last night and it's supposed to cool off for the next week but nothing too drastic! Love the flowers!

    1. Thank you Janice, she had a lovely day and apart from a piece of cake put to one side for her friend her and Thomas have eaten it all.

      L plates are a legal requirement over here and we also have green 'P' plates for when people have passed. They're optional but we see quite a few round here, probably because our roads are so busy. They just indicate you're new to driving and hopefully other drivers are more tolerant and make allowances for you.

      I've already asked Thomas about the park and he's said "maybe tomorrow". He'll say that every day so I'm going to make him get dressed and go out this afternoon. The weather is good today so I don't want to waste it.

      Our children would love 5 day weekends! Sometimes a day is added on before or after a holiday for teacher training but I've only ever known it to be one day. Never heard of a family day either but that sounds fun. I know some companies have duvet days but they're probably very few and far between these days.

      I was sorely disappointed about the lack of snow again this year. Not even enough for a snowball let alone a snowman. Even when it does snow in the UK we very rarely get any where we live. We're protected by the Pennines so our chances of any white stuff is even less than other places.

      I'm psyching myself up to take Amy for a drive around the car park today. That should be fun.

      Have a lovely week. xx

    2. Family Day is a Provincial Holiday. Out of the 10 Provinces and 3 Territories in Canada 4 have a family day, 4 have a holiday called something else-all in February. The other five wish they did and are always trying to get one,lol. That means that in Alberta we have one Provincial or Federal holiday in every month of the year. That can change depending on when Easter is. Teachers Convention is a 2 day convention once a year in February. All staff are supposed to attend, some principals are really strict and want proof you attended others are really lenient and don't care-I worked for both kinds! They also have about 10 professional development days spread through the year when kids don't go to school but staff do. Here endeth the lesson, haha!!
      Is the pattern for the octopus available on the web?

  6. Happy Birthday to Amy. Hope you have a great half term x

    1. Thank you MMC. Half term has started good - with another lie in! No plans for this week that are set in stone apart from my friend coming over on Wednesday, but I'm hoping to get out to the park for some fresh air this afternoon. Before that I think I'll take Amy for her first drive. We're supposed to be going to the cinema together tonight - wonder if we'll still be speaking haha.

      Hope you have a lovely week as well. xx

  7. Happy 17th Birthday Amy.
    Another creature of habit here too....Sweet and Sour Chicken is my favourite from the Chinese.
    Eeeeek....I am with Mark in the kitchen. I can't bear watching Marlowe eating solid things either.
    DDIL has a sensory basket for Marlowe. I had never seen one before but it's full of household things that are either smooth or textured such as a small honey dipper, a fish shaped flat loofah and all sorts of other things. She absolutely loves it so your idea of a tub of things for Sienna to play with is great.
    Your octopus is so cute and I really love the blue and white of the set.
    Have a fab half term. Ruby's was last week but we didn't get to have a sleepover as she was busy going out and about for day trips.

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes Sheila, can't believe her next will be her 18th!

      I am definitely a creature of habit regarding take-aways because really I'm not over keen on them apart from those 2 dishes, although I do like crispy duck but I put so little meat on there are never enough pancakes.

      Yes, that's what I was trying to say - a sensory basket with lots of different textures for her to touch. The honey dipper is a good idea I'll look out for one of them.

      We're halfway through half term tomorrow and the weather has been horrible so we've not been to the park - probably much to Thomas' relief :)

      Children are busy little creatures aren't they - they have better social lives than adults. Have a lovely week. xx

  8. What an exciting week. I hope Amy's driving went ok.
    Ooh! A Chinese takeaway. I haven't had one in ages. I'm feeling the need for one now.
    Lovely to see your makes again. You are always kept so busy.

  9. Of course, I pressed 'publish' too soon. 😊 I'm pleased the physio is going ok. Maybe you should request a bit of juggling too. Just to liven things up a bit.
    Thomas does make me laugh. I adore his serious/concentrating face. What an angel.
    Lucky lady with the Valentine's flowers. They are beautiful. Mark must realise how lucky he is. X

    1. Oh I've done that before now Jules, quite often with none of it making sense and full of spelling mistakes.

      Thomas was concentrating on an Xbox game - what's new - so much so I took several photos and I don't think he even realised, that's absorbed he becomes in his little world.

      Amy has been driving twice now and is doing well. It's a fairly quiet car park so it's not too stressful for either of us, touch wood.

      Hope you're enjoying your week. Still no park outing here, the weather is horrible but I live in hope. Have a lovely week. xx

  10. Lovely bouquet, and love the colours of that Dresden plate quilt, very nice.. and happy belated wishes to Amy.

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes Chris, she had a lovely day - quiet but that's just how she likes it lately. Nothing like her 1st birthday. We had a houseful of little people and adults and it was a huge celebration. How times change.

      I'm really pleased with the dresden quilt but I don't think I'll make one again, that circle caused me no end of problems :)

      Have a good week. xx

  11. Happy Birthday wishes to Amy, and hope you have a lovely half term. x Thanks for you comment on my blog about my dad's hip, he's making quite a good recovery and we're getting some more assessments for my mum, it's meant I haven't had much time for blog reading recently, so it's nice to see everything is good here x

    1. Hi Tess, it's lovely to hear from you. So glad to hear your Dad is recovering. It's exhausting for everybody involved where Alzheimer's is concerned. Mark spent hours in meetings and going through assessments etc. with his Mum to try and make sure she got the best care they could offer. You have to fight for everything and it's draining. I look back and wonder how we did it all as well coping with his Dad going through cancer, but you just do don't you. I hope everything works out for you all. It's a tough time so remember to be kind to yourselves :) xx

  12. Hope half term is panning out beautifully for you all. Belated birthday greetings to your gorgeous girlie. I remember feeling very anxious (and skint after buying her a car!) when ours started driving. Fortunately the boy here has no interest in cars whatsoever. Sienna is growing fast. Love the picture of her with her giant sarnie (I swear our littlest eats more than me!). Interested to hear what you thought of that film. I can't make my mind up if I want to see it or not. Enjoy the rest of the week.

    1. It's panning out perfectly for Thomas that's for sure! The weather has been awful and apart from a quick trip to the park with my friend and her little boy for half an hour yesterday, which I didn't want to force Thomas to do, it's been raining so he's officially been allowed to stay indoors festering in his Xbox room.

      I know what you mean about being anxious. As much as I want Amy to pass her test I'll be a nervous wreck when she goes out on her own. Somebody once said to me the older they get the more you worry about them - how true.

      I doubt very much we will buy her a car but she'll be able to use mine although she'll have to contribute in some way to the expense - just because it's a good lesson in life and money.

      Sienna is cutting her first tooth and doesn't seem to like the bottle in her mouth at the moment but food is a different matter.

      I don't want to put anybody off the film but I did find it slow and there didn't seem to be any story to it. It's hard to explain but even the way they spoke was drab and lifeless. Wish I'd gone to see Lion or I Daniel Blake instead. But at least Thomas enjoyed the popcorn. Him and Amy had a row because he wouldn't give her any and when I offered to buy her some she refused because 'that's not the point'. Give me strength!

      Have a lovely week. xx

  13. Eeeek, I missed this post completely. Will read it properly later xx it's like a bonus find!